Obituary: James “Jim” Thomas Sykes


James SykesJames “Jim” Thomas Sykes, 67, of Galva, KS, passed away on Wednesday, February 10, 2021, at his home in Galva.  He was born January 31, 1954, to Silas Utah and Lucy May (Thomas) Sykes in Martinsville, VA.  He was raised in Eden, NC during his school aged years.

He joined the United States Army in 1974.  While stationed in South Korea, he was part of the Honor Guard for President Gerald Ford during an official visit.

James was united in marriage to Diana Kaye Cyphers on October 9, 1976.  They made their home in McPherson, Elyria, and Galva.  James worked for CertainTeed for 29 years and drove semi-trucks for JB Hunt and Land Star until he retired in 2019.  He was a lifetime member of Bassmasters and fished with McPherson Bassmasters.

He is survived by his wife of 44 years, Diana; daughter, Melissa Bailey (Christopher) of Phenix City, AL; son, Matthew Sykes (Leslie) of Norman, OK; step-son, Bruce Richardson, Jr. of McPherson, KS; grandchildren, Tyler Johnson (Aspyn), Jesse Sykes, Keaton Johnson, Sawyer Bailey, Jadè Richardson, Coltyn Richardson, and Ashton Bailey; great-grandson, Lexington Noah Parker and he was looking forward to meeting his second great-grandson, Ryker Thomas Johnson; sister, Bula Fay Conner of Eden, NC; sister-in-law, Betty Sykes of Louisville, KY; many beloved nieces, nephews, extended family and friends.

He was preceded in death by his parents and two brothers, Ralph Sykes and Wayne Sykes.

A memorial service with Military Honors will be held at 2:00 PM, Tuesday, February 16, 2021, at Stockham Family Funeral Home.

Memorial donations may be given to McPherson Bassmasters or a charity of the donor’s choice in care of Stockham Family Funeral Home, 205 N. Chestnut, McPherson, KS 67460.  Personal condolences may be sent to the family at

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